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I encountered an expression:

key benefits to using [something]

To my mind the version below would sound more natural:

key benefits of using [something]

Are both versions correct? Is there any difference in meaning?

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I think I'll leave the phrases in my question as they are - in his answer tchrist highlighted other prepositions that might be used with benefits, so "benefits to [something]" is quite legitimate (benefits to the community), whereas "benefits to using [something]" doesn't feel very natural – serge.karalenka Mar 10 '13 at 17:17
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Well, both do seem to be used, with benefits of being more common than benefits to, and apparently always has been.

benefit of-vs-to

You might also compare actual published instances of benefits to using versus those of benefits of using to see whether you can pull out any major nuance.

However, I think you probably want benefit of here. The OED has this to say about it:

3. a. Advantage, profit, good. (The ordinary sense.) for the benefit of: for the advantage of, on behalf of. to take benefit of (a thing): to take advantage of, avail oneself of. benefit of the doubt: see doubt sb.

Thinking about the difference between:

  • a benefit to the community
  • a benefit of the community
  • a benefit for the community
  • a benefit from the community

It seems like to and of go different directions. A benefit to society is different from enjoying the benefit of society. Similarly, benefit of clergy and benefit to clergy are quite different.

But I also think you are right that some people may use this interchangeably; I do not find anything wrong with either of your two formulations, but if push came to shove, I’d likely opt for the of version.

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